Monday, September 30, 2019

September Stash Report and Goals Update

I spent a lot of time this month doing non-quilting stuff so not as much as usual was accomplished in the sewing room. My husband and I spent two weeks at the beach, much of that time with my son and grandson, so it was well worth it! I did a little sewing in the condo there...

...and produced this for one very happy boy who loves all things Halloween, especially bats.

Other than that, let's see how the stash report and goals looked for the month.

September Stash Report:
IN this month: 8-1/8 yards (from A and E Fabrics in Pensacola)
OUT this month: 11-7/8 yards (Bat pillow: 2 yards.  Chunky Churn Dash: 3-1/8 yards. Roman Road: Backing, binding, and my fabrics used to supplement kits for top: 6-3/4 yards)

IN YTD: 96-5/8 yards
OUT YTD: 98 yards
YTD Net change: 1-3/8 yards out

Whoo-hoo, I'm back in the black for the year, even though I splurged at a shop in Pensacola that has a huge selection of everything and then some. More about my purchases in another post.

Goals Update: 
September Recap:
1. Finish the WIGSP flimsy and prep backing to take to the quilter. NO. Discovered it's a row too short to fit on the bed. New plan: Prep additional pieces for Pieceing Group to help when it's my turn in Feb. 
2. Find out if STLMQG wants me to do demos at Sew Me STL and if so, start prepping materials for them. Yes, they want a demo. I'll use a current WIP. 
3. Make Bat pillow for grandson. DONE. He loves his "cozy" pillow. 
4. Plan the next donation quilt using pieces from Wanda at Exuberant Color. DONE. Not only planned, but the CCD flimsy is done.
5. Bind and finish Roman Road. DONE
6. If time permits, quilt and finish Kevin's mystery quilt for donation. Not done.
7. Keep up with bee blocks and BOMs. Struggling with this one; still have to finish the hand piecing block that's due Oct. 1, and I need to look for fabrics for the Sew Bee It block due at Sew Me. Have not started the Color Wheel BOM for STLMQG featuring applique which is due Oct. 11

Roman Road, 72 x 72"

Chunky Churn Dash Flimsy, 43 x 50"

October Goals:
1. Quilt Kevin's SSSSM top
2. Prep for binding demo at Sew Me STL using the SSSSM quilt as the sample.
3. Finish baby quilt for Laurie's girl baby.
4. Look at kitted projects and decide what to work on at Sew Me; prep and pack.
5.  Have fun at three day retreat at Sew Me STL.
6. Quilt the purple CCD quilt.
7. Keep up with bee blocks
8. Think about new stretch project.

SSSSM prepped for basting

October will be a busy month!

Since today is the last day of September, it's the last chance to check out the Quilters Meet and Greet, visit all the quilters, and enter for the grand prize from each blog.  

Monday Link Ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Em's Scrapbag
Love Laugh Quilt

Friday, September 27, 2019

CJ's Bat Pillow

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some grandma time at the beach with my four year old grandson. We had good weather all week, but some of the days were extremely windy with rough surf. Here's my view from our porch. We go here every year and always enjoy it. While CJ enjoyed digging on the beach with Grandpa on less blustery days, he really loved swimming in the pool.

I took sewing stuff along with me and set up a place to sew in the bedroom, using a table from the porch and a stool from the family room. It worked out well. 

CJ is crazy about Halloween and absolutely adores bats. Cluck Cluck Sew has a pattern for a bat quilt, and I used one of the blocks to make a pillow for CJ. He loves everything "cozy," his current favorite word, so I thought he might like it. Especially if he could see me make it. 

I had cut the parts and had everything kitted up ahead of time, which made off-site sewing easier. My improvised sewing space worked out very well. The condo had an iron and ironing board I could use so my piecing went smoothly. 

One bat block and some sashing strips, and I had a top for a 16" pillow.  Yes, I carefully planned for the stripey pattern in the background fabric to go all in the same direction. 

He needs a face, don't you think? This may not be the best embroidery or the most artistic bat face, but it works well enough. 

To quilt it, I outlined the bat and stitched wavy lines in the sky. Since the background fabric has wavy lines, it seemed fitting. 

I used a black and white text print for the back and made an envelope-style back so it would be easy to remove the cover for washing. Black binding finishes the edges. 

He likes it. He slept with it every night after I gave it to him. 

Totally worth hauling all my sewing stuff to the beach!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

CCD Progress

The Chunky Churn Dash quilt is coming along. More CCD blocks have been added since I made these original ones.

I decided that the CCD blocks need some friends. It seems a shame to cut up the prints into such small squares; maybe some alternate blocks featuring larger squares would work. These blocks all finish at 6".

Since I don't have enough of one solid purple for all the blocks, I'm using three solids and one tone-on-tone that reads solid-ish. When they're all scattered around, and also used in the CCD blocks, they'll be fine together.

A 6 x 7 block layout on the wall; I'll add white sashing and purple cornerstones for a top that will finish at 43 x 50".  A good size for a donation quilt for a child.

I've added vertical sashing between the blocks to make the rows, and added sashing rows to each row of blocks. Ready for final assembly.

A few row seams, and this will be a finished top. I'm hoping to get it finished before the end of September. I'm giving a demo in October about machine-stitched binding using glue-basting, and I need this to be quilted by then so I can use it for the demonstration sample.

I needed six more blocks than I could make with the pre-cut printed squares I had available, so I made a few more CCD blocks.  I used a Kaffe Fassett fat quarter I had on hand whose colors and geometric shapes worked okay, not perfect but certainly well enough. I have two 6-1/2" blocks left over with no purpose for them; anyone want them? Leave a comment with your email address.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Loop in Motion

Update 10/3: At the suggestion of Sandra at MMM Quilts I'm sharing this on Throwback Thursday

I'm participating in Quilters Meet and Greet over at Benita Skinner's Creative Space. If you haven't visited yet, you can check it out through the rest of September, and see my post here.

Several people have commented on my Loop in Motion quilt. This was made in 2006, before I started blogging, so I've never told its story here.

I belong to a guild called Circle in the Square Quilters that meets in University City, MO. U-City celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006. Even-numbered years are challenge years for CSQ, so that year the guild challenged the members to make a quilt for U-City's Centennial.

U-City has a neighborhood called The Loop; it got its name from the old trolley car turn around back in the day. The Loop is a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood with lots of restaurants and unique shops. U-City used to have a street festival every year called Loop in Motion; I don't know whether they still have it or not, but it was still going on back in 2006.

Most of the guild members who participated in the U-City Centennial challenge made applique scenes of local landmarks, etc. I'm not into applique, so to participate in the challenge I'd have to come up with something else.

I played around in EQ and came up with a design that created an unbroken loop. The design used 6" pieced blocks which featured curved piecing. Curved piecing is good for hand piecing, and
I belong to a hand-piecing group that's part of CSQ. My turn to hand out in 2006 was convenient for having my friends help stitch blocks for my challenge piece.

The blocks used in the design were very simple, just two-inch arcs, either one arc or two arcs per block. It's all in how the blocks are rotated.

There are a lot of layouts possible with this concept. Here's one possibility from EQ:

I chose a slightly different layout with more background and negative space. Then I searched for the perfect fabric. I found a commercial hand-dye (batik) with all the colors scattered in it and black overprinting. Or maybe it started as a black-on-white print that was then overdyed. Anyway, all the colors were scattered randomly in the fabric. Using a template I cut lots of arcs. Lots of arcs through all areas of the fabric; some featured mostly one color, some shaded from one color to another. Then I laid them out on my design wall so the colors flowed into one another.

You can't see it in the quilt photo, but there are seams where the blocks come together. Here are rough outlines showing a couple of the blocks.

My friends helped hand-piece the curved blocks, then I assembled the top by machine and quilted it myself by machine. It finished at 60" square.

This quilt is entirely pieced, not appliqued. If you trace the curvy lines you'll see that it's all one continuous loop. Thus, Loop in Motion, my entry for the U-City Centennial challenge.

You might recognize that this block is very similar to the blocks used in Snake quilts, although in the snake quilt below the arcs were pieced. Same concept. Different layout. Larger blocks. There are lots of possibilities with this block and it's really not that hard to piece if you're comfortable with curves. You can see more quilts using this block here.

Thanks for following along with me on this trip down memory lane. Maybe I'll write about some of the other quilts from my pre-blogging days when I get a chance.

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the Quilters Meet and Greet blog hop. There's a grand prize and you can enter from each blog you visit.

Monday, September 16, 2019

CCD Blocks

I can't believe it's halfway through September already! Time to get to work on my next donation project. Recently Wanda of Exuberant Color sent me some precut squares of bright kid-themed fabrics to use in donation quilts. They've been calling to me. Here are some I've picked out for a new project, along with some purple solids I picked up from the free table at STLMQG. Thank you Wanda and guild donor for making this palette possible.

Aren't they pretty?!!! Purple is so not my usual color, but I seem to be working with it a lot lately. I have another pale purple project kitted up to sew at retreat soon.

Have you seen all the cute little Chunky Churn Dash blocks popping up everywhere? I couldn't resist. I found a white-on-white with a text print in my stash that works, although it's hard to see in this photo. The 5" squares were easy to cut into quarters for the corners.

These little blocks are so easy but so cute.

Even better to chain piece them. They're kind of addictive....

I'll keep making blocks, and see how this project ends up.

Link ups:
Design Wall Monday
Monday Making
Moving it Forward Monday

Friday, September 13, 2019

To Whoop? Or Not to Whoop?

About my hand-pieced Work In Glacially Slow Progress, that is.

On the one hand, it's in one piece after 11+ years in the making.
You could call it an almost finished flimsy, which would certainly be whoop-worthy, especially after all this time.

And I still love it, especially the luminous effect created by the lighter colors at the center shading to darker ones at the edges, and how all the pieces in the hexies sparkle like faceted jewels. .

On the other hand, it's too short for the bed. Some not so nice words were uttered when I put this top on the bed and saw this. Here you can see the bottom of the mattress and a gap at the head of the bed.

The bottom will get one more row to finish the black border, which will then cover the bottom of the mattress/top of the bed skirt. However, the top is about 8" away from the headboard. Gaaaaahhhh!

So it's not as close to a finish as I thought. I will need to take the top border off at the seam indicated by the arrows in the photo below, and make and insert another row of hexies.

This has been a Piecing Group project, all hand pieced by friends in the group. There's not one machine stitch in this project. My turn to hand out at Piecing Group comes around every 18 months or so; my friends have worked on parts of this project for me for 8 go-rounds already. My next turn to hand out comes in February. Guess what my friends are going to be working on????

I have plenty of batik fabric in a wide range of colors and brightness. I also have enough of the black batik used for the borders and setting triangles to cut more parts. I have until February to cut and mark enough pieces to create another row. Thank goodness I still have the templates in the project box.

Once my friends help piece another row, I'll add it to the top rather than to the bottom to push the palest portion, the luminous part, down a little more toward the center.

So, what do you think? Whoop or lament?

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, September 9, 2019


Well, actually, prepping for basting.

The batting was a 36" x 108" remnant that I cut across and Frankenbatted together to create a large enough piece. Because it was the end of the bolt, it had some serious wrinkles and deep folds. I spread out and pinned down the backing, laid out the batting, lightly steamed it and smoothed the wrinkles, and placed the quilt top on it.

I have a lot of other stuff going on, and this is in an out of the way spot where no one will step on it, so I'll leave it like this until I can get a chance to pin baste it. By then the wrinkles will all have relaxed out of the batting.

For backing I used some very vintage stash, a tan and blue "ethnic" print and a navy textured stripe print that I've had in my stash since my house was decorated in Country Blue in the 1980's and 90's. These were two of my very early quilt fabric acquisitions but were never used. Time to put them to good use.

Link ups:
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt
Em's Scrapbag

Friday, September 6, 2019

Roman Road, Finally Finished

It's nice to have this one off the UFO list!

Roman Road was originally a BOM from a local shop called the Quilted Fox. Each year the owner offers a mystery BOM inspired by her world-wide travels. This one was inspired by her trip to Rome and features the colors of stone and roadways, and her name for the BOM was "Fox Travels the Roman Road."

I diligently made the main block and the alternate block from the kits provided each month. The main block is the star block, and the alternate block is the one with the hourglass center

Then the project stalled because I didn't have an immediate need for it.

My friend Cherie was also participating in the BOM that year. She had the most brilliant suggestion to change the alternate block. The original alternate block looked like this, with four pieces in each side unit:

Cherie suggested changing it to three pieces in each side unit. I drew it up in EQ for her, and I liked it. No center seam and points to match up, and a more symmetrical result, not spinning.

With Cherie's approval I used her alternate block in my version of Roman Road. Here's the main block outlined in orange and the alternate block outlined in yellow.

Since I had already made all of the alternate blocks from the kits, this meant I had to buy more of the specific white Grunge used in the kits, and make replacement side units. I chose to use a light brown blender from stash, making it a constant in the quilt instead of each block different like the kits.

I totally changed up the border; it's nothing at all like the shop owner's original design. Again, more of the white Grunge, and I added black triangles to finish out the illusion of diagonal ribbons. I even went back and took apart some of the alternate blocks again and replaced one side with white so the light brown pieces didn't stick out into the borders.

Then the top sat for a couple of years. I wanted my friend Sandy to quilt it. For a lot of reasons including the fact that she's a fantastic quilter and had a long wait list, it didn't get quilted. Then she moved to Mississippi. Finally after she was settled in and taking quilting work again I was able to send it to her and she returned it when we were together in Paducah in April. I love the quilting she did on it! I asked for "masculine, not very dense so it would remain soft and drapey" and other than that, anything she chose would be great.

I think she nailed it! Nice texture but still drapey.

Since getting the quilt back from Sandy in April, it has been moved from one surface to another in my sewing room, waiting for binding. I finally got the binding added this week, the same light brown fabric I used in the alternate blocks. Roman Road is now finished!
Roman Road, 72" x 72"

I plan to give it to friends who live in Arizona the next time we go out there. The colors are perfect for their home. And the last time we were there I noticed that they're using an ugly old flannel car quilt from college in their family room. They need something nicer than that. No worries, they don't read my blog, so they'll be surprised when I give it to them.

So, finally a finish!
Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Wendy's Quilts and More, TGIFF,  My Quilt Infatuation

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Quilters Meet and Greet

Benita Skinner of Victoriana Quilt Designs is once again hosting Quilters Meet and Greet, and I'm happy to participate.

Quilters Meet and Greet is an opportunity to get to know quilters, pattern designers, and bloggers who share our love of fabric and all things quilty. Visit Quilters Meet and Greet throughout September for the links to all the participants, and for a chance to win the Great Grand Prize.

So, let me share a bit about myself.

I've been interested in fabric and sewing all my life, and like many quilters today, I started making doll clothes as a very young child. From age 8, my ambition was to become a fashion designer.  I attended Stephens College in Columbia Missouri, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design.

I worked professionally in apparel, textiles, and footwear product development for over 35 years. My jobs have included pattern making, designing apparel, color and trend research, technical color approval, and color and material library management.

A quilter since the early 1990’s, I'm mostly self-taught, drawing on my sewing and professional experience to figure out patterns and piecing. Now retired, I'm focusing on quilting as a new chapter in my life. In 2015, my book Cut and Shuffle Quilts was published by AQS. I design patterns, blog, give trunk shows and workshops to guilds, and teach my Cut and Shuffle method.

Benita asked us to share our favorite quilt. As I was looking through photos of my quilts, I couldn't find just one that's my favorite, so I decided to share my readers' favorite. This is Broken Chevron. It's my best selling pattern* and it gets the most attention on Pinterest.
Broken Chevron

But I couldn't resist sharing a few other favorites: 
Dr. Seuss's Pickle Dish, April 2019

Charmed Snowballs, Fall 2013

Seasonal Migration,
July 2017, 78" x 90" 

Loop in Motion
Pieced, 2006, 60 x 60

Dancing Plus
June 2016, 60" x 75"

Heat Wave, 2014, 60" x 72"
from Cut and Shuffle Quilts (now out of print)

Celtic Lullaby, 2011, 96 x 96
pieced and hand embroidered

* Check out patterns and free tutorials in the tabs below my blog header. If you're interested in a pattern, send me an email at 

Don't forget the giveaway! Visit all the other quilters participating in the meet and greet, and enter to win the Great Grand Prize. More info about the prize can be found here. Thanks to all the great sponsors. Click on the image below to take you to the entry.